WASHINGTON — A Senate committee subpoenaed the Obama administration yesterday for secret documents and access to witnesses in last year’s mass shooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas.
The subpoena is a rare public dispute between a Democratic-led Congress, which has been largely supportive of President Obama’s policies, and the administration, which prides itself on increased government transparency.
Lawmakers have said the administration is covering up critical details on the case, including whether the government had access to information that could have prevented the shooting.
“Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to avoid reaching the conclusion that the departments simply do not want to cooperate with our investigation,’’ wrote Senators Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins in a letter accompanying the subpoena.
Lieberman, the independent from Connecticut, chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Collins, a moderate from Maine, is the panel’s top Republican.
The Defense and Justice departments say that release of the disputed data would compromise the prosecution of Major Nidal Hasan, the disgruntled Army doctor charged with killing 13 people at the base.
Last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon would provide Congress with any information it could so long as it wouldn’t hurt the prosecution’s case.